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Foreign cotton mill use remains vibrant this season

17
Apr '07
The 2006/07 U.S. cotton crop was lowered this month to 21.6 million bales (upland—20.8 million bales and ELS—765,000 bales), as indicated in the March Cotton Ginnings report. USDA will release final production estimates on May 11th.

With beginning stocks and imports unchanged this month, the season's cotton supply is now estimated at 27.6 million bales, 1.8 million (6 percent) below 2005/06.

U.S. cotton demand was also lowered in April to 18.5 million bales, 550,000 below last month's forecast, with exports accounting for nearly all of the decline. Domestic mill use was reduced to 4.95 million bales this month based on recent activity.

The export forecast was lowered to 13.5 million bales, 500,000 bales below the March estimate. While export sales have improved lately, export shipments remain below earlier expectations.

Although foreign cotton mill use remains vibrant, import demand has been restrained this season, particularly for China. At the current export forecast, the U.S. share of global trade is estimated at about 36 percent, below the 4-year average of nearly 41 percent.

With U.S. production exceeding demand in 2006/07, ending stocks are projected to increase more than 3 million bales this season to 9.2 million, the largest since 1985/86. The stocks-to-use ratio is currently forecast at 49.9 percent, the highest in nearly 2 decades.

United States Department of Agriculture


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